EU, Kuwait agree to launch human rights dialogue

The European Union (EU) and Kuwait have agreed to launch a dialogue on human rights, said Ambassador Walid Al-Khubaizi, Kuwaiti Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs. Al-Khubaizi made this announcement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on the sidelines of a working dinner hosted by Kuwait’s Ambassador to the EU Jassem Al-Budaiwi, Friday evening, following a meeting with Fernando Gentilini, Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at the European External Action Service, the EU’s foreign service. Al-Khubaizi expressed Kuwait’s aspiration to work with the incoming European Commission at the same level and the excellent coordination with which Kuwait has been working with the current Commission in all bilateral and regional files of common interest.

Regarding the launching of an EU-Kuwait human rights dialogue, Al-Khubaizi pointed out that the State of Kuwait has an honorable human rights record, which is testified by international organizations such as the Human Rights Committee and other non-governmental organizations that praise the State of Kuwait’s human rights record. He pointed out that in this dialogue, the Kuwaiti said will also be briefed on the human rights situation in the EU.

Further, they will discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in this field, he said, and noted that that this dialogue aims to achieve many results, most notably the exchange of experiences in the field of human rights between both parties. Al-Khubaizi said that the two sides at yesterday’s meeting discussed several issues related to enhancing bilateral cooperation, including preparations for the next meeting of senior officials to be held in Kuwait in the first quarter of 2020.

He told KUNA “We are pleased with the significant progress we have made in bilateral relations and the consensus reached at the first meeting of senior officials held in November 2018 in Brussels.” Deputy Foreign Minister, Ambassador Khaled Al-Jarallah, led that meeting on behalf of the Kuwaiti side, and the Secretary General of EEAS Helga Schmidt on the European side.

“My meeting now was an opportunity for me to discuss the current and upcoming achievements and to prepare for the second meeting, which we hope will be tangible ground as we did at the first meeting,” he said. Al-Khubaizi pointed out that there are new signs of the development of relations between the two sides most notably the high level of political coordination between the EU and Kuwait with the opening of the EU diplomatic mission in the State of Kuwait, in addition to the political and bilateral momentum witnessed in the relations at all levels. He said that this development in bilateral relations provides an opportunity for both sides to discuss and consider the possibility of seeking new opportunities and issues for cooperation.

He hoped that the two sides would consider issues related to encouraging and training young people, enhancing trade exchange and exchanging experiences in the field of digital technology. Al-Khubaizi concluded by referring to the role played by the European Union at the regional and international levels, describing the European efforts to enhance international peace and security as important in the international arena.

Both parties share these goals and principles, he noted. It is worth mentioning that during the past year, EU-Kuwaiti relations witnessed two important events, the first of which was the meeting of senior officials between the two sides held in November 2018, in Brussels. The second was the visit of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to Kuwait in July 2019, to open the EU Delegation there.